For some years now I have been collaborating with my friend Kostya Novoselov. We have crossed borders of the imagination to discover new worlds together. Now, thanks to this NFT project, our work has moved into virtual and future worlds. Writing, thinking and dreaming together with Kostya as part of this project has been exhilarating.
Working on this elaborate and ambitious NFT has been a team effort. As an artist, I am used to working on my own. The humility and trust I have summoned up in order to confide the embodiment of my ideas to others, has been a steep learning curve as a person. Creation of art is a very personal and intimate process. Moreover, it is often very difficult to pin the moment of art creation – it is a process as long as life. How to describe it in words? The art piece itself is the best description of the process. I am dazzled by how an individual style and technique can be interpreted so sensitively through the new prisms of technology in this NFT. It has been a moving experience to witness the quiet imprint of the intervention of a large and skilled team on Kostya’s and my solitary work. I have been amazed by the intricacy and detail of the images we have been able to create as a team. How thrilling to see light pooling in corners of the metaverse.
Our EVERYTHING IS CONNECTED project has at its heart a humanitarian goal, and this new forest of NFTs too offers shelter in the metaverse, not just directly through its warm message of hope and connection but literally through material donations to charity. We are proud that the first iteration of our NFT project will support The Malala Fund.
Exploring a new medium is so exciting for an artist. The new method of teamwork required by NFTs has opened a world to me so large that sometimes the idea of it makes my head ache. For context, I have been thinking about the embrace of new technology to express ideas within art history. The metaverse and NFTs themselves call to mind the revolution of the printing press in the 15th century.
Artists such as the polymath Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528) pioneered new technologies of mass distribution within art, creating engravings and prints that became commonplace in homes and churches throughout the Western world. Working across a variety of disciplines his visual images such as for example “Melancolia” (1514) expanded the boundaries of art. What’s more, the work was accessible and popular.
Dürer used his talent to elevate the new medium. The low price of engravings and prints, plus simple distribution enabled his profound work to reach people previously on the peripheries of the art market. This in turn gave his ideas a wider audience and stronger influence. With our idea of EVERYTHING IS CONNECTED we want to invite the largest audience possible to consider the fact that we are all interconnected and that any positive contribution we make, however small, is still worth making; each single tree forms a part of the whole forest. Our virtual forest video illustrates in visual form how small changes affect the whole.
It is exciting to follow in the tracks of such a great artist and when technological concepts seem tough to get my head around (this has been quite frequent) his example inspires me to try to continue with good grace.
Art can provide access to ideas in unexpected ways. Through NFTs, artists can explore and pioneer the latest skills of our age to produce novel images that create pleasure and invite reflection on the human condition.